Politics & Policies

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COVID and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in US – Is it working ?

This week Congress approved $310 billion above the initial $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), but it is not achieving its objective of stopping job losses. Paycheck guarantees would ensure American employer-employee links are preserved and employees can seamlessly return to their productive tasks as the economy recovers and demand picks up. Unless the Congress … Continue reading

COVID , CARES Act and Relief Checks in US – Threatened by old technology and a rocky government rollout

Hampered by antiquated software, unfilled leadership positions and the sheer complexity of distributing hundreds of billions of dollars across the United States, the federal government is failing to get emergency stimulus money to millions of households and small businesses. The Post reported that three weeks after Congress passed a $2.2 trillion aid package, its small-business … Continue reading

COVID and Immigration in Canada – The lowest Comprehensive Ranking requirement of 2020

Two days, two Express Entry draws. Today’s draw rendered invitations for 3,782 immigration candidates and their families to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence were issued to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores as low as 455 on April 16, 2020. Today’s … Continue reading

COVID and the Myth of the Deficit – It is being destroyed (well, for the moment)

The Covid-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated what should have been obvious already: provisioning society – whether with food, disinfecting wipes, toilet paper or medical supplies – is not a financial issue. If we can’t produce enough masks, ventilators or food, finance will not help. Society’s capacity to produce real output is what limits its ability … Continue reading

CARES Act and UI in US – The three new programs

Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) From the date the bill is signed through July 31, 2020, all regular UI and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants will receive their usual calculated benefit plus an additional $600 per week in compensation. On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. A … Continue reading

COVID and Tax and Fiscal Policy – They should continue to support households and businesses through containment, then shift to bolstering recovery OECD says

Tax and fiscal policy responses are playing a critical role in limiting the hardship caused by containment measures, and should continue to do so as governments seek to support households and businesses, protect employment and pursue economic recovery from the global pandemic, according to new OECD analysis. Tax and Fiscal Policy in Response to the … Continue reading

COVID and Unemployment Insurance in US – How to make it work for all

Since its creation almost a century ago, America’s safety net has not kept pace with the changing economy. Reforming the Unemployment Insurance program is a case in point. Created in 1935, this essential component of the safety net, which provides a basic level of financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs through no fault … Continue reading

COVID in Canada – The Problem with Income Support (Update)

The die is cast. Canada’s governments can now count, at least temporarily, on four major measures to support the income of people affected by the COVID crisis, namely: 1. The Wage Subsidy amounting to 75% of salary up to a maximum of $ 3,388 per month ($ 847 X 4), offered to employers who maintain … Continue reading

COVID in Canada – The Problem with Income Support

The die is cast. Canada’s governments can now count, at least temporarily, on four major measures to support the income of people affected by the COVID crisis, namely: 1. The Wage Subsidy amounting to 75% of salary up to a maximum of $ 3,388 per month ($ 847 X 4), offered to employers who maintain … Continue reading

COVID and Jobs in Europe – Getting back to work

In this article, we describe how European policy makers and business leaders can think about how to prioritize both protecting lives and restoring livelihoods. Even in countries where lockdowns are unlikely to be lifted for several weeks, governments and companies need to be planning and preparing to restart their economies. We start from three observations: … Continue reading

COVID in US – A fiscal time bomb Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says it is important to realize that legislation around the novel coronavirus so far is not a stimulus bill; it is mostly a disaster-relief bill. He says it is good for the most part but will probably need to be bigger, maybe as large as $4 trillion or $5 … Continue reading

COVID and Wage Subsidy in Ireland – Some anomalies

While praise is due to civil servants who have turned these schemes around with unusual rapidity, there have also been anomalies, resulting in some people being better off being laid off than kept on by their employer – particularly those in lower paid jobs. RTÉ has been told of examples of younger workers, for example students with … Continue reading

COVID and Unemployment Insurance in US – what has congress already done to address the current crisis?

WHAT HAS CONGRESS ALREADY DONE TO ADDRESS THE CURRENT CRISIS? The CARES Act—a $2 trillion relief package aimed at alleviating the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic—extends the duration of UI benefits by 13 weeks and increases payments by $600 per week through July 31st. This implies that maximum UI benefits will exceed 90 percent … Continue reading

COVID in Japan – Main points of the US$1 trillion emergency package

Japan is unleashing economic stimulus measures worth about US$1 trillion as it battles the COVID-19 outbreak, which has prompted a state of emergency in several parts of the country, including Tokyo. The package, valued at 108 trillion yen, envisages the government spending 39.5 trillion yen to protect jobs, bolster the medical sector and ease the … Continue reading

COVID in US – Will the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act help?

Will the CARES Act ( Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) help? The CARES Act is a good start. It includes significant funding spread out in a variety of ways to help sustain the economy while people practice safe distancing to defeat COVID-19. The additional pandemic unemployment assistance provided to the self-employed and others … Continue reading

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